Premier League • England

Man Utd, Liverpool miffed as Chelsea closing in on cheaper Declan Rice option

Rob McCarthy
Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni jogging during training with France 2021

Chelsea are reportedly edging closer to a deal to sign Manchester United and Liverpool midfield target Aurelien Tchouameni.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel wants to bolster his squad in the January transfer window, with midfield a particular area of need, and rising Monaco star Tchouameni fits the bill perfectly.

The influential N’Golo Kante has had his fair share of injury issues over the past 18 months. Meanwhile, Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains inconsistent when handed a chance and Saul Niguez has not really been up to scratch.


According to The Telegraph’s Matt Law, Tchouameni would be a cheaper alternative for the Blues to sign than long-term target Declan Rice.

The report adds that Chelsea already have a strong relationship with Tchouameni’s agent. The youngster is represented by the same company, Excellence Sport Nation, than Jules Kounde, who the Blues almost signed last summer.


When asked if Tchouameni is Chelsea’s top midfield target, Law told the London Is Blue podcast: “It feels like it’s heading in that direction.

“I think he shares an agent with Kounde whom Chelsea are very much in touch with. I think there’s a good relationship between Chelsea and Kounde’s agent from everything that went on in the summer.

“There was certainly no blame attached to Kounde’s agent that the deal ended up heading south. It was all put on Sevilla’s changing the goalposts.

“I know Kounde’s agent was annoyed with Sevilla.

Three defenders Chelsea are targeting in January

Chelsea are reportedly making plans to sign three new defenders in January.

“It feels like Tchouameni would be the sort of cheaper option than Declan Rice. Whether that makes him option A, let’s see.

“But I certainly think, at the moment, there’s a direction of travel that is quite positive in terms of Chelsea and Tchouameni.”

Competition fierce for Tchouameni signature

Tchouameni has been hugely impressive for Monaco this season. The defensive pivot has started 28 of 30 games in all competitions and skippered the Europa League side.

The 21-year-old has also transitioned into the France senior team, making seven appearances for Les Blues.

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Chelsea, however, are fully aware that they will face strong competition for Tchouameni.

United, Liverpool and Real Madrid have all been monitoring the player’s progress in recent months. Italian giants Juventus, however, are said to have dropped out of the race.

One thing is for sure, if Chelsea are to complete a deal for Tchouameni then they will have to do it early in the window. Waiting until later in January could see a bidding war ensue and the midfielder’s price skyrocket.

Tuchel’s men are back in Premier League action on Sunday against title rivals Liverpool.

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